Perché un progetto IT può essere più rischioso di quanto si creda (Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier than You Think)

Harvard Business Review Italy, pp. 6-8.

6 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2013

See all articles by Bent Flyvbjerg

Bent Flyvbjerg

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Alexander Budzier

University of Oxford - Saïd Business School

Date Written: September 1, 2011

Abstract

Ai vertici di Levi Strauss, quella di riorganizzare i sistemi IT era sembrata una buona idea. L’azienda aveva fatto parecchia strada dalla sua fondazione nel XIX secolo ad opera di un commerciante tedesco di tessuti: nel 2003 era una grande azienda globale attiva in oltre 110 Paesi. La sua rete IT era invece antiquata, una commistione balcanica di sistemi informatici nazionali incompatibili tra loro. Si decise dunque di passare a un unico sistema SAP e a questo fine venne assunto un team di consulenti di Deloitte. I rischi apparivano contenuti: il budget previsto ammontava a meno di 5 milioni di dollari. Ma ben presto si scatenò l’inferno. Un cliente importante come Walmart pose la condizione che il sistema si interfacciasse con quello che gestiva la sua supply chain interna, creando ulteriori difficoltà. L’insufficienza delle procedure di reporting finanziario e di controllo interno quasi costrinse Levi Strauss a rivedere i risultati trimestrali e annuali. Nel corso della migrazione non fu possibile evadere gli ordini e i tre centri di distribuzione negli Stati Uniti rimasero chiusi per una settimana. Nel secondo trimestre del 2008 l’azienda inserì in bilancio una posta negativa di 192,5 milioni di dollari per compensare il progetto mal riuscito e il CIO, David Bergen, fu costretto a dimettersi.

To top managers at Levi Strauss, revamping the information technology system seemed like a good idea. The company had come a long way since its founding in the 19th century by a German-born dry-goods salesman: In 2003 it was a global corporation, with operations in more than 110 countries. But its IT network was antiquated, a balkanized mix of incompatible country-specific computer systems. So executives decided to migrate to a single SAP system and hired a team of Deloitte consultants to lead the effort. The risks seemed small: The proposed budget was less than $5 million. But very quickly all hell broke loose. One major customer, Walmart, required that the system interface with its supply chain management system, creating additional hurdles. Insufficient procedures for financial reporting and internal controls nearly forced Levi Strauss to restate quarterly and annual results. During the switchover, it was unable to fill orders and had to close its three U.S. distribution centers for a week. In the second quarter of 2008, the company took a $192.5 million charge against earnings to compensate for the botched project — and its chief information officer, David Bergen, was forced to resign.

Note: Downloadable document is in Italian.

Suggested Citation

Flyvbjerg, Bent and Budzier, Alexander, Perché un progetto IT può essere più rischioso di quanto si creda (Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier than You Think) (September 1, 2011). Harvard Business Review Italy, pp. 6-8.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2278225

Bent Flyvbjerg (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Alexander Budzier

University of Oxford - Saïd Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
42
Abstract Views
395
PlumX Metrics